North African countries are key suppliers of natural resources to the global economy, from large-scale oil and gas extraction in Algeria and Tunisia, to phosphate mining in Tunisia and Morocco, water-intensive agro-industry associated with tourism in Morocco and Tunisia. The commodification of nature and the privatization of resources involved in these projects have resulted in severe environmental damage and forced these countries to place themselves in a position of subjugation in the global economy, sustaining and exacerbating global inequalities.
This report documents several cases of natural resource extraction that take the form of brutal “accumulation by dispossession”, degrading environments and ecosystems through the privatization and commodification of land and water. However, these extractive activities have also encountered new waves of resistance and the entry of new social actors on the scene, demanding that the wealth generated in resource projects be shared equitably in society. Are these new players primarily driven by environmental concerns, or are they fundamentally anti-systemic, seeking to undermine the foundations of the capitalist extractive economy? Are these temporary episodes of resistance, or do they represent a new development in the historical trajectory of the class struggle in North Africa?